Tag Archives: corporate culture

A Brief History of the Corporate Culture Transformation at Hilton | Part 4: Thrive

For Hilton, thriving is not just a fancy word, it encapsulates all parts of an ambitious culture program that started more than ten years ago. The concept of “Thrive at Hilton” was adopted globally after Hilton struck a partnership with Ariana Huffington’s organization Thrive Global. 

The origin and evolution of Thrive@Hilton

This partnership between Hilton and Thrive Global was originally conceived to solve a specific problem Hilton was facing. Back in 2017, a Hilton study revealed the harmful effects of mobile devices in the workplace. The use of mobile devices became a problem when Hilton transitioned from not allowing to fully allowing these devices during work shifts, with basically no restriction. This caused a “digital overload” among team members. Matt Schuyler says, “Our statistics show that on average we are all pushing out 200 emails a day, we are bringing back 200 emails a day from outside our respective organizations. We are checking these devices 150 times a day in our social media applications …That was eight or nine hours a day just on the device.” (1) As a result, Hilton decided to partner with a knowledgeable organization that could help it solve this problem, and the Thrive Global partnership was born. 

The rollout of the program at Hilton evolved to Thrive@Hilton, which is now the umbrella value proposition under which all team members’ programs exist today. These programs include Health & Wellness, Training, PTO, Learning, Recruiting and Referral. The broad idea of the program is to make sure team members understand that they can bring their whole self to work and thrive. Hilton is committed to supporting everything team members are interested in, enabling them to thrive at work. 

Hilton is the first hospitality company to partner with Thrive Global, an innovative wellness startup that was launched in 2016. It is estimated that burnout, fatigue and stress cost US industries $300 billion a year. The day of the partnership announcement Chris Nassetta said that “the company launched the Thrive@Hilton partnership to help our team members understand our people and flourish in every area of the business, from corporate to hourly, from the front desk to back-of-house. We strive to help Team Members feel more resilient, focused, and optimistic about their work, which we believe will support our company’s continued success.” (2)

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A Brief History of the Corporate Culture Transformation at Hilton | Part 3: Listening

If there is something embedded in Hilton’s DNA is listening. As I mentioned earlier, the first thing Chris Nassetta did when he joined Hilton was to spend his first 100 days flying around Hilton’s properties worldwide and listening to owners, employees, and partners. (1) This was the best method for Chris to understand what he needed to do to turn the company around.(2)

Hilton has different strategies to “listen” to people; here below, I describe the ones that I have experienced over my years at Hilton. 

Surveys 

In 2009, when Matt Schuyler joined Hilton, he asked for any existing feedback regarding employee satisfaction and their needs. From his previous roles, especially at Capital One, he knew that listening to employees was key to understanding their needs and introducing meaningful changes. 

When Matt realized this data didn’t exist, he came up with a great and ambitious solution: the first “Hilton’s global team member survey”. (or GTMS for short). The purpose of this survey was to collect important views and opinions from Hilton employees worldwide, from both corporate and “back of the house” team members (housekeeping, engineering, bartending, front desk, etc.). This survey became an immediate success, with a completion rate of 92% and over 150,000 participants (3). This survey has been the best tool Hilton has to identify team members’ needs and desires. Matt says that “listening to team members is the best way to learn how to meet their needs and determine what they will need in the future;(4) listening helps leaders learn. Without employee insights, companies stagnate.” (5)

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